Don Irrigation Scheme business case approved

Guy Barnett,Minister for Primary Industries and Water

The Tasmanian Government is doing more than any government in the nation to deliver irrigation schemes across our state.

In great news for farmers in the Forthside, Forth, Lillico, Don, Barrington, West Kentish and Melrose areas, I am pleased to announce that the Don Business case has been approved, which clears the path for construction to start this year.

The Don Irrigation Scheme will provide 4,750 megalitres of high-surety, fit-for-purpose summer irrigation water to farmers and deliver jobs, with 135 jobs to be created on farms and associated businesses, on top of the jobs during the construction phase.

We are also working with the Commonwealth Government to secure funding to deliver Phase two, which will include the South East and Southern Midlands irrigations schemes.

We know our AgriFood plan is working with Tasmania’s agricultural production increasing in value in 2018-19 to $1.64 billion.

Rabobank’s December Rural Confidence Survey noted Tasmanian farmers’ confidence had risen to a 15 month high resulting from high commodity prices and good seasonal conditions.

This sentiment has continued with the just released March 2021 survey noting Tasmanian farmers’ investment appetite for productivity improving projects, is the highest in Australia.

When completed, our Pipeline to Prosperity state-wide irrigation plan is expected to provide almost 78,000 megalitres of water, create up to 2,600 full-time jobs, trigger an additional $150 million in on-farm private investment and inject an estimated $114 million each year into the sector, and economy more broadly.

We are getting on with the job with securing Tasmania’s future and I would like to congratulate the local farmers who are clearly backing the schemes by investing in their farming enterprises.

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